First report of Blissus insularis in Portugal and in Europe
The southern chinch bug Blissus insularis (Hemiptera: Blissidae), is an insect pest of St. Augustine grass, Stenotaphrum secundatum (Poaceae), a grass widely used for turf and pasture. B. insularis was so far only known from parts of the Southern USA where it is considered as causing economic damage. In 2019 it was detected for the first time in Europe, in Portugal, in the area of Lisbon.
The NPPO of Portugal conducted an official survey and the presence of B. insularis was confirmed in 4 different locations in Lisboa e Vale do Tejo Region. A scientific survey in Lisbon and Setubal (also in Lisboa e Vale do Tejo Region), detected the pest in 10 additional locations showing suspicious symptoms, indicating that this chinch bug is already established. A nationwide survey programme will be implemented. The possible adoption of official phytosanitary measures is currently under evaluation.
The situation of Blissus insularis in Portugal can be described as: Present, restricted distribution.
Lima A, Valada T, Caetano MF, Franco JC, Ramos AP (2021) First record of the lawn chinch bug Blissus insularis Barber (Hemiptera: Blissidae) in Europe. Phytoparasitica https://doi.org/10.1007/s12600-021-00903-1
NPPO of Portugal (2021-03).